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The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Colchester


Colchester’s economic landscape demonstrates a diverse range of sectors with significant activity in professional, scientific, technical, and construction fields. With 109,125 employees and a notable 6.87% employee growth rate, the city shows robust employment dynamics. The presence of 63 scaleups and a wide array of SMEs indicates a thriving entrepreneurial environment. However, the absence of IPOs suggests limited activity in the public markets sector.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Colchester has 109,125 employees with an employee growth rate of 6.87%. The increase of 622 employees in top-raising sectors underscores a positive trend in job creation.
  • Sector Dynamics: The leading sectors are professional, scientific and technical activities (14.18%), construction (13.74%), and wholesale/retail trade (11.09%). These sectors represent a balanced mix of knowledge-based and traditional industries.
  • Scaleups and SMEs: The presence of 63 scaleups and 10,629 SMEs indicates a healthy startup ecosystem and small business sector, vital for economic resilience and innovation.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: There were 1,779 company cessations over the past two years, which is significant but should be viewed in the context of 3,209 new companies formed during the same period.
  • New Companies: The formation of 3,209 new companies in two years reflects a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit in Colchester.
  • Patent Owners and Fundraisings: With 227 patent owners and 11 fundraisings, there is evidence of innovation and investment activity, albeit modest.

Gender and Age Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 17% female founders versus 82% male founders, indicating a gender gap in entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Directors’ Gender: 27% female directors, showing a slightly better but still imbalanced representation in corporate leadership.
  • Age of Directors: The distribution of directors’ ages shows a broad range, with a higher concentration in the 50-60 age bracket (28%).


Colchester’s economic health is characterised by strong employment growth, a diverse industrial base, and a vibrant small business and startup environment. The city shows potential for further growth in technology and innovation sectors, as evidenced by the rise in scaleups. However, challenges remain in enhancing gender diversity in leadership roles and fostering more high-impact investment activities like IPOs.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.